KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 17): The prosecution wants a stay of the High Court’s decision last November for the return of close to RM16 million worth of assets and properties belonging to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (pictured), his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, their son Nor Ashman Razak Najib, Rosmah’s son Riza Shahriz Aziz and five others said to be related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
The five others are former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng Chong Hwa, his wife Lim Hwee Bin, Jho Low’s mother Goh Gaik Ewe, one Aiman Ruslan and company Senijauhar Sdn Bhd.
On Thursday (Feb 17), the High Court fixed June 3 to hear the prosecution’s application for a stay in returning those assets and properties. The application will be heard before Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan.
The date was fixed following case management of the stay application before High Court deputy registrar Catherine Nicholas on Thursday (Feb 17). The prosecution was represented by Deputy Public Prosecutor Faten Hadni Khairuddin in Thursday’s proceedings.
Faten Hadni said the stay application was filed last November, pending the prosecution’s appeal before the appellate court over the matter. The Court of Appeal has fixed March 11 as case management for the prosecution’s appeal.
On Nov 8, Justice Zaini dismissed an application for forfeiture against nine out of 18 respondents named in the application that included Najib, Rosmah, Riza, Goh, Ng and Lim.
“There were no credible attempts made to show the nexus between the properties seized and the unlawful activities. No evidence has been proffered to show that the properties seized were bought using the monies in Najib’s bank accounts.
“The applicant merely listed down the properties seized and their value, and in turn concluded that these respondents did not have the means to have such huge amounts of cash or purchase these properties with their income, or the lack of it,” Justice Zaini said in his decision last November.
Among the assets the authorities had seized in the forfeiture included 263 branded handbags, cash in various denominations including some RM725,000, and 27 Nissan vehicles, all said to be worth in excess of RM31 million.
From Ng and his lawyer wife, Lim, the prosecution failed to forfeit funds from their seven bank accounts. Ng is presently indicted and undergoing trial in New York for conspiring with former Goldman Sachs banker Tim Leissner to launder money and violate US anti-bribery law.
He is the only former Goldman banker to go on trial in the scandal.
As for Goh, who is Jho Low’s mum, the prosecution had failed to forfeit the Penang Tanjung Bungah bungalow that she owns, while from Senijauhar it is with regards to the Nissan vehicles.
The court, however, allowed the forfeiture of assets of former 1MDB officers Kee Kok Tham, Tan Vern Tact and Geh Choh Hun — who were respondents 16, 17 and 18 — amounting to RM8.277 million in various bank accounts as they had absconded from Malaysia since April 2018.